Is small the next big?

E F Schumacher has played a serendipitous role in my career. Back in 2003 while trying to work on my MSc dissertation, a Schumacher Society Briefing: Bioregional Solutions by Sue Riddlestone and Pooran Desai caught my eye. Visiting Bioregional’s website, I discovered they were recruiting. In October that year I joined them as a programme manager to lead development of a concept design taking the lessons learned from BedZED and applying them to a large-scale mixed use community. I digress.

Schumacher was a visionary economist, if that’s not a contradiction. He recognised the problems associated with our addiction to growth and wrote ‘Small is Beautiful’: economics as if people mattered.

The BBC Radio 4 programme by Leo Johnson (yes, Boris’s brother) takes us on a tour of organisations he helped to found and supported during his lifetime, such as the Soil Association and Practical Action, and others that have been inspired by his thinking, such as Transition Network. Its messages of small, decentralised, local, community are an antidote to economics as usual.

You can listen to it here.

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